Only a day after announcing that Philippe Gilbert would miss La Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège due to a kidney injury, Quick-Step Floors confirmed on Tuesday that the Belgian national champion will also miss a planned start at the upcoming Giro d'Italia.
Gilbert, who has delivered his finest spring campaign in years, sustained a small kidney tear in a crash on Sunday before going on to win the Amstel Gold Race, his second major one-day win of the season after the Tour of Flanders. After the race, he was taken to hospital, where the tear was discovered.
"When I crashed, I felt pain, but once I remounted and continued the race things became better and better and the pain disappeared. Unfortunately, after the finish, the lower back pain returned, so together with the team doctor I decided to go to the hospital for a check-up," Gilbert had said initially via a team press release announcing he'd miss the other Ardennes races. "Fortunately, it's nothing serious, and if everything goes well, in a week I will start training again."
Quick-Step have since revealed that the injury will derail Gilbert's race calendar still further. The 34-year-old had been slated for a Giro d'Italia start, but that has been ruled out. Gilbert has won three stages at the Giro in his career, including a brace on his last appearance in 2015.
"It's a big blow for me to miss the Giro, a beautiful race in which I've enjoyed success several times in the past, but these kind of injuries are always delicate and it's recommended to don't rush things, so extending my recovery period is the best decision we could take," Gilbert said via a team release Tuesday. "Despite this setback, I remain upbeat and I now look with even more motivation to the second part of the season."
Gilbert will be off the bike for two weeks to recover before resuming training, according to the team.